The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw (or mandible) to the skull (or temporal bone), and its function is necessary in order for you to properly chew, speak, yawn etc.
TMD, is a disorder that causes either slight or intense pain in the jaw. The causes of TMD have not been pinpointed, but can include stress (from tooth grinding) and trauma relate to the continual discomfort associated with the disorder. .
When the temporomandibular joint sustains injury, the face can become tender to the touch, and many sufferers report frequent headaches. Since the temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull, the pain is capable of radiating to other parts of the body, including the temples and neck. Other symptoms include trouble opening or closing the mouth, lock jaw or a misaligned bite. Another, more common symptom that coincides with the pain is a clicking or popping sound that occurs whenever the jaw opens or closes.
The causes of TMD have not been pinpointed, but many experts believe that stress and trauma relate to the continual discomfort associated with the disorder.
The onset of bruxism (teeth-grinding) and jaw clenching is usually due to anxiety, and occurs mostly during sleep. The constant pressure on the joint and associated muscles can cause continual pain and lead to many of the symptoms associated with TMJ.
There are treatments in surgery we can offer to help with very tender jaw muscles, only after face-to-face consultations, alongside the following basic advice to significantly improve your symptoms of TMD:
A common issue that affects up to 80% of the population, the grinding of teeth and clenching of the jaw can cause tooth wear, breakages, pain, limited movement of the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint disorder), migraines and headaches. Most common in adults over 25 years old, the cause is not fully understood, though symptoms often worsen during stressful periods
Effects of bruxism
These conservative, reversible treatments described are useful for temporary relief of pain – they are not cures for TMJ disorders. If symptoms continue over time, come back often, or worsen, tell your doctor or dentist.
SCI Appliances by S4S
These appliances are quite small and worn over the upper front teeth. They are described as an enhanced deprogrammer, designed to stop the canin teeth from occluding and thus reduce the intensity of clenching. They are worn by the patient at night. Some clinicians worry they may cause excessive loading of the jaw joints.
These are plastic guards that fit over the upper or lower teeth. Stabilization splints are the most widely used treatments for TMJ disorders.
They are sometimes called full-coverage appliances, Tanner appliances, Michigan splints or centric relation splints.
If a stabilization splint is recommended, it should be regularly checked and should not cause permanent changes in the bite or cause worse discomfort.
Anterior Repositioning Appliances
These type of appliances are designed to bring components of the jaw forward (and down) and in doing so, allow the disc to come back into it’s correct relationship. This is known as ‘recapturing the disc’.
Treatment with these type of appliances may take several months and the concept is to keep the disc in place for long enough so that the disc arrangement ‘heals’ and the disc becomes properly functional again. Increasingly, the evidence is that any change is temporary and the disc dislocates again with time. These would usually not be a first-line of management.